For those doing business online, user experience is of great importance because the customer is the king. When you make it easy for customers to navigate your site and find the information they need, there is more possibility for a higher conversion rate.
On the contrary, if browsing your site is somewhat challenging or risky, most potential customers will soon turn away and possibly never come back. This is why you have to invest some time and money in improving the user experience on your site. To achieve success, you must increase the user engagement and keep visitors staying, after all.
Tip 1: Improve the Visual Appeal of Your Site
Regarding website design, there are many considerations that are often neglected. The truth is, your site does not need to be complicated and visually stunning, but you have to make sure the design is functional and clean.
Besides, we have the following suggestions.
- Make your site mobile-friendly. Mobile devices could bring enormous potential of visits and sales. Enabling your customers to visit your site regardless of the device and screen size is pleasing and beneficial.
- Pick the right color combinations. Good colors sell. To ensure a pleasant experience for your customers, you’d better consult a designer about which color combinations are the best for your targeted users. The majority of women, kids or men would have their preferred colors.
- Be careful when using images. Images are interesting. However, you have to make sure all the images you use are of high quality and can assist you with the content instead of distracting the readers. Also, avoid using the stock photos which are boring and devalue your site.
- Avoid using popups or placing ads within content. These things are good for leads and revenues, but they also increase the bounce rate. Even if you have to use any of them, you must not overdo it.
Tip 2: Make Sure Your Site Is Easy-to-Navigate
Don’t let your customers bewildered at any time. If they have a bad navigation experience and find it hard to get what they need, they will click away without hesitation. To prevent this bad situation, you can follow the rules below.
- Make a good navigation menu and include the landing pages in it.
- On the landing pages, link to other important pages which have been proved to be helpful for your customers.
- Make a good custom 404 error page with links to your homepage or some other important pages.
- If necessary, use breadcrumbs to let readers know where they are.
- Fix all the broken links and broken images as soon as possible.
Tip 3: Place Calls-to-Action Wisely
Calls-to-actions are good, bringing about leads and sales by telling customers exactly what you want them to do. However, making the most out of calls-to-actions is not a simple thing. If used improperly, they could easily generate an ill feeling towards your content. Hopefully, the following suggestions should help.
- Place call-to-action buttons reasonably. According to tests, a button works best when it is placed at a point where visitors usually find the information they want, for example, after a piece of information about a promotion of your service.
- Do not abuse calls-to-action. Too many buttons make your site look suspicious.
- Conduct A/B split testing to find the best places and color schemes for the call-to-action buttons.
Tip 4: Offer Free Gifts for Certain Actions
One of the good ways to motivate your customers to take the actions you want without affecting their user experience is to provide something free in exchange of the actions. People like free things especially when the action you ask for does no harm to them.
This tip works great for building email lists. With the appeal of the freebies, people are more willing to give their email addresses to you. Depending on the topic of your site, the free gift could be an eBook, a coupon, a video, a theme, or anything else that your customers would want from you.
Tip 5: Minimize the Data Collection
People nowadays are cautious about personal information. While it is necessary to collect your customers’ personal information for the sake of your business, you are suggested to keep the required information to the minimum. Once your customers have a feeling of risk when filling out the registration or sign-up form, they’d probably quit and look for an alternative to you. There are so many websites offering the same things, after all.
In the registration form, it is OK to ask for the email address and habits, but you’d better not require information like the company name, phone number and physical address, not to mention the credit card information, no matter which kind of business you are running. Most people would not even take advantage of the free trial of the products they are fond of if they are asked to fill in their credit card information during the signup.
Tip 6: Offer the Security Assurance
You have to make customers feel secure when they give their information to you. Only by doing so can you ensure a risk-free user experience. One of the easiest approaches to increase customers’ trust is to add security seals like “Norton” and “McAfee”.
Another solution which is important for business sites is to install an SSL certificate. The “HTTPS” protocol could make customers feel safer and rest assured that they are protected against data theft. Then they will like your site more and be willing to make a purchase.
Tip 7: Make Your Website Social
Allowing customers to connect you with their social accounts brings many benefits when it comes to improving the user experience. This not only makes it easy for interaction, but also enables visitors to take actions on your site without much trouble. To ease their experience with social media, you can:
- Integrate Facebook, Twitter or Google+ registration options.
- Add Facebook comments to your site.
- Add social sharing widgets to allow customers to like and share your content.
Tip 8: Get to Know What Users Want
Do you know what your users need most exactly? If the answer is NO, then you have missed tons of opportunities to improve your site and disappointed many users due to the ignorance about their demands. What you think they need might be very different from they really need.
There are many ways to know what users want from you, among which the following ones are effective and easy-to-conduct.
- Keep monitoring user activities. You can use heat maps to see how your site content performs in clicks and views. The clear statistics about user activities could give you some good ideas about optimization.
- Interview active users. Find the top users on your site and try to get feedbacks on your site design, structure, loading speed and more. They may offer creative suggestions which surprise you. Hearing from real users brings you the possibility to satisfy more users in the future.
Tip 9: Improve the Site Speed
Loading speed is among the top factors that affect user experience and the bounce rate. You must pay close attention to the speed of your site since there are numerous other sites to compete with, not to mention search engines love fast sites.
You can keep an eye on your site speed by using some performance monitoring tools like Pingdom and GTMetrix. If you find your site is constantly slow, which means the page loads take over 3 seconds, you have to take measures to accelerate it in order to improve user experience.
Depending on what slows down your site, you may refer to the following solutions.
- Optimize the code of your site.
- Use a CDN which boosts page loads to be 200% faster. You can make a choice from the top 5 CDN providers.
- Embed videos from third-party video sharing sites instead of uploading them to your server.
- Optimize images to reduce their sizes. Lazy loading images is also a good option.
- Move to an SSD web hosting provider which guarantees fast servers. Below are the top providers in this kind.